BISHKEK -- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide funds to help the Kyrgyz government hold upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, the US embassy in Kyrgyzstan said Thursday (November 12).
Parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan are scheduled for December 20 after an October 4 vote was annulled following public protests that saw Sooronbay Jeenbekov step down as president, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.
Presidential elections are set for January 10.
The funds will be aimed at supporting Kyrgyzstan "as it reinforces its commitment to undertaking inclusive, rules-based electoral reforms and oversight," including changes recommended by the recent electoral observation mission from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the embassy said.
The assistance will be used to back the Central Election Commission in administering parliamentary and presidential elections that follow democratic standards and Kyrgyz law.
Since the early 1990s, USAID has supported Kyrgyzstan's transition to an independent democratic state, the statement noted.
The embassy vowed to assist the Kyrgyz government, its people, and civil society groups to protect democratic institutions, support human rights, and carry out free and fair elections.
"The United States looks forward to a new era of transparent democratic governance, vibrant civil society, and fair elections in the Kyrgyz Republic, which will promote political stability and economic prosperity," said the statement.
The announcement comes as Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov announced that he would step down on Saturday (November 14) as acting president in order to run in the presidential election.
The presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan will take place with the use of blockchain technology, Japarov told journalists November 12.
"The elections must be transparent. Three revolutions happened because of elections. We must learn a lesson from this," he said, referring to ousters of Kyrgyz presidents in 2005, 2010 and October.
"If there are cases of use of administrative resources or bribery of voters, they should be published in the media or on social media."
"Perhaps, if the blockchain system is successfully implemented, then the next parliamentary elections will be held using this technology. That way, there will be no falsification," Japarov said.